Getting to know the farming community

February 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

It’s hard to imagine eating produce like this right now in Colorado. One of the things I miss most about living in LA was the ability to get amazing produce year round at a number of farmer’s markets. There is hope on the horizon and now is the time to plan ahead for the local harvest and join a CSA.

I had heard of CSAs back in New England but never really looked into them at the time as it seemed like too much of a hassle living in Boston. You definitely tend to hear about them a bit more in Boulder. I’m also fortunate enough to have a few good friends I’ve made since moving here who are on a mission to become farmers themselves and have given me a little nudge in that direction.

What is a CSA? CSA stands for community supported agriculture. It consists of a community of individuals who pledge financial (and sometimes physical) support to a local farm where all parties share in the risk and reward of food production. CSAs became popular in the 60s both in Europe and in Japan. They arose out of concerns with food safety & the urbanization of agricultural land. In Japan, it was also a fear of the rise of imported food. In 1984, the concept was brought to the US by Jan VanderTuin (pictured) who co-founded the Great Barrington CSA. Since then there are now over 13,000 CSA farms.

When I was a kid in PA, my grandfather would drive us around the countryside in his antique cars to local farms and we’d pick up eggs, fresh corn, cider and pumpkins to carve. They were fun trips and my grandparents would always share a laugh with the farmers. This week I’m going to make my rounds to a few farms and look into joining a CSA. There are many different kinds from those that offer strictly veggies to those that include flowers, honey, meats, dairy and also offer special events at the farms. I have a list of 6 I want to check out from a helpful article my farming friend, Alicia, sent me.

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